By Landeg White
In January 1935, a railway bridge 2.3 miles lengthy was once opened around the Zambesi delta in Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). fifty one years later, it was once blown up through anti-government forces scuffling with with RENAMO. This publication, that is in response to Portuguese and British data, brings jointly politics, international relations, economics, labour heritage and expertise to teach how this significant engineering feat was once a catastrophe of colonial making plans. this day, the decrease Zambesi bridge is via some distance the grandest of the ruins of colonial firm littering the immense river valley.
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Extra info for Bridging the Zambesi: A Colonial Folly
He arrived in Beira in November 1922 where his host was Gordon Brown of the Beira Anglo-Belgian Company. Within a few days he had visited Limbe in Nyasaland, the headquarters of the Central Africa Railway Company (CAR) to arrange with Mr Roy his equipment and labour, and by the twenty-third of the month he was al ready installed on the left bank of the Zambesi at Mutarara, a litde downstream from Sena. The plan had been for hirn to live on a river steamer, but the river was too low at Mutarara and he pitched camp instead.
In 1875, two missions representing different Presbyterian sects entered the Zambesi by the bar Livingstone had recommended, sailed up the Zambesi and Shire Rivers to the first cataracts and c1imbed the escarpment to what he had called the Shire Highlands. One group settled at Livingstonia in the far north above the lake, the other at Blantyre, named after his birthplace, in the Highlands. Complementing the missions in c1aiming the sanction of Livingstone's writings was the Scottish African Lakes Company (ALC), which brought trade to the river vaUey and the lake.
In 1904 Colonel Thys, the Belgian chairman of the Mozambique Company, had been ousted by the English directors who claimed he was more interested in the Congo Free State than in Portuguese Africa. When he was was replaced by Albert Ochs, who had first taken the precaution to become a British subject, the FO intervened directly with the Portuguese government, giving assurances that the shake-up would serve Portuguese as weIl as British interests by stimulating investment. 24 It was tactically sound for Oury to imitate the manoeuvre when he replaced Ochs as chairman.